Chiefs still perfect after 23-13 win over Bills
Linebacker Derrick Johnson isn’t going to apologize for the
Kansas City Chiefs’ perfect start.
”I’ve heard it said that we haven’t played winning teams,”
Johnson said after the Chiefs used two defensive touchdowns to beat
the Buffalo Bills 23-13 on Sunday. ”We’re the best you can be at
9-0 right now. If you can’t respect it, then we’re just going to
So far so good.
Sean Smith scored on a 100-yard interception return and
linebacker Tamba Hali produced the go-ahead points for Kansas City
by returning a fumble 11 yards for a score.
And now the Chiefs get to enjoy it for an extra week in entering
their bye weekend off before returning to put their record to its
biggest test on Nov. 17. That’s when Kansas City travels to Denver
for a highly anticipated AFC West showdown against Peyton Manning
and the Broncos.
”We have a bye coming up, a chance to kind of catch our breath
a little bit,” quarterback Alex Smith said. ”And then we’ll start
talking about the Broncos.”
The Chiefs keep winning despite a sputtering offense that
managed just 210 yards and settled for three field goals.
And their defense overcame its leakiest outing of the season
after giving up 470 yards to a Bills offense that was led by
undrafted rookie Jeff Tuel.
What mattered was the final result, as the Chiefs matched their
best start to a season, set in 2003, and extended their
worst-to-first run after a 2-14 finish last year.
The Bills (3-6) were left stunned in how they let this game slip
away. Up 10-3 after the first half, they opened the second half by
driving to the Chiefs 1, when Smith intercepted Tuel’s pass and ran
it the other way for a score.
”Obviously, it hurts. It hurts me. It hurts the guys in that
room” Bills coach Doug Marrone said. ”I’m not going to stand here
and say we should’ve won that game because we obviously didn’t. But
Here’s five things that made the difference as the Chiefs
snapped a six-game losing streak at Orchard Park, dating to
HAPPY RETURNS: The Chiefs’ defense has scored six times this
Smith’s TD matched the second-longest interception return in
team history, and he was too tired to enjoy it.
”Do you know how long 100 yards is?” Smith said. ”I was
definitely happy I made it. I wanted to celebrate, but I was so
Hali scored to put the Chiefs up 20-13 with 12:47 left. He
scooped up a loose ball after cornerback Marcus Cooper punched the
ball out of receiver T.J. Graham’s hands.
TUEL TIME: Tuel’s first NFL start began well before faltering
late. The undrafted rookie from Washington State got his first
career touchdown – a 59-yard connection to fellow rookie Marquise
Goodwin – as he finished the first quarter going 5 of 7 for 112
yards. Tuel struggled the rest of the way, going 13 of 32 for 117
yards with two interceptions.
He started in place of interim starter Thad Lewis (bruised ribs)
and with rookie starter EJ Manuel missing his fourth game with a
sprained right knee.
”Did Jeff play well enough for us to win?,” Marrone asked.
”At times. At times he didn’t. I think you could say that about a
lot of people.”
ON THE RUN: Led by C.J. Spiller’s 116 yards rushing, the Bills
managed a season-best 241 yards against the NFL’s 10th-best rushing
defense. Spiller, who returned after missing one game with a
sprained left ankle, had runs of 61 and 29 yards. He also caught
two passes for 39 yards, giving him 155 yards from scrimmage.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles had 90 yards rushing and only
6 receiving as he was held under 100 yards from scrimmage for the
first time this season.
STINGY D: The Chiefs matched an NFL record set by the 1977
Atlanta Falcons in allowing 17 points or fewer in nine straight
The Chiefs have now allowed 111 points, their third-lowest total
through their first nine games, according to STATS. Kansas City
allowed only 88 points through nine games in 1969, and 101 points
over that span in 1973.
SACK-LESS: Kansas City was held without a sack for the first
time this season, after managing a NFL-leading 36 through its first
eight games. The Bills entered the game second in the NFL with 27
sacks. They managed just two against the Chiefs.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org